Doing head gaskets and have some ?'s [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : Doing head gaskets and have some ?'s

09-17-2006, 09:07 AM
I'm changing the head gaskets on my friends 2001 grand am with a 3.4
I've read all through the LIM discussions and they've been a lot of help, but I still have a couple of specific?ís Does anyone have a picture (or the equivalent 1000 words) of where the engine coolant drain plug is (I think I see one but I'm not really sure) what exactly should I use to clean the LIM? And what are all the bolts I should loctite?

Everyone seems to replace their thermostats, do they need to be replaced? The head gasket set comes with a new thermostat seal.

also I was wondering if anyone had any misc suggestions before I put it back together. Any help will be appreciated, thanks.

09-17-2006, 11:24 AM
bottom righthand corner of the radiator. i used a socket extension to open mine up. be sure to have a couple jugs ready or something big to catch the fluid.

09-17-2006, 12:05 PM
thanks ( I ended up just taking the lower hose off cause the cheap plastic drain plug felt like it was gonna break)

Though what i really wanted to know was where the coolant plugs on the engine block are.

09-17-2006, 12:08 PM
taking the hose off is the faster way! Messy but still good to go.

Brake clean, seems to clean everything!! Including your nice garage floor. ;)

I just changed the head gaskets on mine a few days ago. Let me know if you have troubles... depending how long he has ran the motor while burning antifreeze, you should maybe get the heads checked to see if they are warped...

Actaully there is a trick i learned to avoid taking off the whole motor mount while taking off the intake.... give me a few whiles to get some pics... if you are having trouble with that.

09-17-2006, 12:52 PM
I actully have everything apart right now, I'm still wondering about the block drain plug though, there's alot of coolant still in it, and I'd like to flush it all though i really don't want to just pour water in it since the heads are off :P

as far as cleaning the gasket surfaces, i've used a razor and a little brake clean, anything else anyone would recomend to make sure they're really clean?

I noticed a small ding in one of the LIM gasket surfaces going to the heads... I wonder if i should use some rtv on it, or just hope the gasket does its job...?

09-17-2006, 01:08 PM
I used a rubber flap wheel on a drill... kinda like a wire brush... but rubber... that works great. cleans it up REAL nice...

what I did to clean my head was ran water on it...just hosed it... even if your heads are off... it will all dry out anyways... plus, whats worse? burning your anti-freeze? or having water in your jugs? you can at least soak that water up.

09-17-2006, 02:35 PM
Rubber flap disc, I'll have to check that out.

I also need to get the rest of the coolant out of the block, thats why i need to find the block drain plug.

09-17-2006, 03:36 PM
I have never taken a block drain plug out to do a head gasket. No need to. Just get some rags and soak up what you see on top of the pistons.

09-17-2006, 04:39 PM
what about the coolant passages around the cylinders, they're full of coolant (and other gook) and I can't get a rag to fit down them. I really would like to get it out of there so I can start the car over with fresh reliable coolant.

09-17-2006, 06:14 PM
If I remember correctly the one in the front is right above the oil filter. Rear one I couldn't get too.

09-19-2006, 11:11 AM
How is the job coming along? car running yet>?

09-19-2006, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the replyís

No, the cars not running yet, unfortunately (for my friend) I was cleaning the heads and realized that the valves weren't sealed properly, so I need to clean them, and maybe get them checked to make sure they're flat...

09-19-2006, 06:35 PM
I would have the heads planed, just in case. You got them out why not make sure there flat

09-19-2006, 08:56 PM
^ That's what they make precision straight edges for (to see if something is flat)

09-20-2006, 05:02 PM
wow really!! thanks I didnt know that!!!!!!! Most people dont have one, plus we always send the heads out to be planed just to clean them up of any crap they may have picked up along the way.

09-21-2006, 12:35 PM
Yeah i may have them looked at, how much does somthing like that usually run?